November 18 – 23, 2014
Book Presentation: Committee of One

Patricia Holt CoverFirst presentation and book signing
by author Patricia Martin Holt
Tuesday, November 18, 7 pm
Madison Central Library, Room 301
201 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI [Map]

The Wisconsin Book Festival, in partnership with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, presents Patricia Holt to discuss her book Committee of One. Free and open to the public.

Second presentation and book signing
by author Patricia Martin Holt
Sunday, November 23, 12:45 pm – 1:45pm
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Madison, WI [Map]

Sponsored by the First Unitarian Society and the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project. Free and open to the public.

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Israel bans Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert from Gaza

BBC News, 14 November 2014

Dr Mads Gilbert at work in Gaza in 2009Dr Gilbert, pictured here in 2009, has been a frequent visitor to Gaza. (Getty Images)

A Norwegian doctor has been permanently banned from entering the Gaza Strip by the Israeli government.

Dr Mads Gilbert says he was stopped trying to cross into Gaza in October. He called the move “totally unacceptable”.

Israel cited security reasons for imposing the ban.

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November 7-8, 2014
Voices for Peace and Justice in Palestine

Searching for Peace
The Capital City Hues
October 30, 2014

From Barbara Olson and The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project:

Do you feel baffled and disturbed by what the major media variously describe as "an age-old religious conflict" or "the endless cycle of violence" between Israel and Palestine? Did the pictures of the terrible bloodshed, destruction and suffering in Gaza last summer leave you wondering what’s really going on there and what role our government is playing and why?

Do you wish that there could be a peaceful and just solution for all the people of the region? Do you wonder what you could do to help?

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Nov 7-8, 2014
Friends of Sabeel of North America (FOSNA) Conference

The Madison Times, October 22, 2014

In a year when enduring images have been burned into our collective memories of the great loss of life and indescribable destruction that occurred in the Gaza a few short months ago, a landmark national conference is coming to Madison on Nov. 7-8 that seeks to chart the path to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

“Voices for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land,” is a two-day conference occurring at the UW-Madison’s Pyle Center that will examine the role of the United States in Palestine/Israel, at an event where participants can listen to voices not often heard in the quest for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Local organizers describe this as an opportunity to hear the stories and the political and theological perspectives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and secular writers and activists concerned with justice and peace in Palestine/Israel.

The conference is sponsored on a national basis by the Friends of Sabeel of North America (FOSNA), as well as a variety of locally-based groups drawn from a diversity of social justice and religious traditions, and the UW-Madison chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Distinguished plenary speakers from the US and Israel/Palestine will address the current situation on the ground in Gaza, in the West Bank, and for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and will explore the impact of US foreign policy, the media, and religion on the region’s struggle for justice.

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Oct 1 – Nov 26, 2014
Book group: Ali Abunimah’s The Battle for Justice in Palestine

Biweekly Wednesdays,
October 1 – November 26
“Palestine Reading Group”
The Lakefront on Langdon,
Memorial Union, UW-Madison [Map]
7 to 8:30 pm

The International Socialist Organization and Students for Justice in Palestine-Madison are hosting a discussion group on Ali Abunimah’s new book The Battle for Justice in Palestine. The first meeting will discuss the Preface and Chapter 1 (pg xi – pg 20). We will continue to meet biweekly Wednesdays @ 7pm until we finish the book.

  • “Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed; the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.”
    Ali Abunimah, The Battle for Justice in Palestine
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    October 10, 2014
    Contested Land, Contested Memory with Author Jo Roberts

    Cover for Contested Land, Contested Memory

    Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe
    By Jo Roberts

    Friday, October 10
    JO ROBERTS will be reading from her critically acclaimed book
    Rainbow Bookstore Co-operative
    426 W. Gilman St, Madison
    7:00 pm [Map]

    NOMINATED for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize 2014

    1948: As Jewish refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, struggle toward the new State of Israel, Arab refugees are fleeing, many under duress. Sixty years later, the memory of trauma has shaped both peoples’ collective understanding of who they are.

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    Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get off Israel bandwagon, for once

    Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, September 26, 2014

    The Senate is warning Palestinians against undertaking any “negative” unilateral actions re Israel at the United Nations, and look who isn’t signing on to the letter that AIPAC has endorsed: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Folks have been pressing Warren and her staffers not to sign this letter – and she didn’t. Neither did Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Maybe the national publicity and pressure on these progressives over their Israel-Palestine positions moved them? Maybe they’re tacking ahead of 2016? Here are the 12 non-signers, from both parties:

    Bernard Sanders (I), Bob Corker (R), Elizabeth Warren (D), Harry Reid*, Jeff Sessions (R), John D. Rockefeller IV*, Lisa Murkowski (R), Patrick J. Leahy* (D), Rand Paul (R), Tammy Baldwin (D), Tom Coburn (R), Tom Harkin* (D).

    (*Majority leader/ senior committee chairs who don’t usually subscribe to these things)

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    Michele Bahl: How can we be indifferent to suffering of children in Gaza?

    Michele Bahl, Cap Times, Sep 20, 2014

    Dear Editor: For three days, at the Barrymore Theater Sept. 12, Fighting Bob Fest Sept. 13 and at the Willy Street Fair Sept. 14, I stood with a large cardboard panel of horrific and gruesome pictures of children who were wounded and killed in Gaza in July by Israel’s brutal assault in which 2,200 people, the majority of them civilians, were killed by bombs. We in the Madison Rafah Sister City Project call it “The Wall of Shame: Pictures from the Gaza Assault.” Politicians, even progressive ones, will not talk about these pictures.

    During the 50 days of Israel’s bombardment on the people of Gaza, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved an additional $225 million to Israel fund their “Iron Dome” missile system. Their vote supported Israel’s massacre on the people of Gaza.

    During his speech at Fighting Bob Fest on Saturday, Chris Hedges, an author and former foreign correspondent of The New York Times, said this about Gaza: “I have stood over bodies, including the bodies of children, left behind by Israeli airstrikes and assaults. I have watched mothers and fathers cradle their dead and bloodied boys and girls in their arms, convulsed by an indescribable grief, shrieking in pitiful cries to an indifferent universe.”

    How can we be indifferent? How can we walk by pictures of wounded and dead children and not even look? During the three days I was out, there were a lot of people who did look though, especially children. It was children who got close, read the headlines and were visibly impacted. But so many adults just kept on walking by. But if we keep walking by, nothing will change. Israel will continue to get billions of dollars in U.S aid every year, and more innocent Gazans will be killed.

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